A Professional Development Journey

25 05 2010

This blog post was originally published on the HandsOn Blog.

How fast does three years go by?

Three years ago I was joining AmeriCorps in hopes of getting training in the career of volunteer management.

In 2007, I was serving as an AmeriCorps member in northern Arizona and it was my responsibility to launch a volunteer program to help homebound seniors and disabled adults.

Just out of college with a history degree I found myself in charge of recruiting people, matching them with opportunities to serve, orienting and training them, as well as supervising and recognizing them.

I had jumped right into the volunteer management profession, without a single course in management.

Typical, I know.

It was my great fortune that Rick Lynch and Steve McCurley, co-authors of the best selling book on volunteer management and legendary for their training in the field, came to Arizona that year and presented a two-day training on volunteer management.

Over those two days we went through theory and practice on the soup to nuts of volunteer management.

Their insights about how people relate to one another, why people volunteer, and what the role of the volunteer manager is, were critical to my personal and professional development.

The binder I got that day has become my volunteer management bible which I carried with me through the next three years.

Jumping ahead in time to today; I am still in the field and now have the unique opportunity of bringing Rick Lynch to my new network of volunteer managers in the DC area.

I now work at Volunteer Arlington, a HandsOn Network Affiliate and we provide support to volunteer managers.

Having been in their shoes, I know how valuable it is to get the chance to participate in a well-designed and well-researched training with peers who are experiencing the same sort of challenges that are unique to this profession.

I am very excited about this training event and hope that it will serve as a key part of my peers’ professional development in the way that it did for me.

Volunteer Arlington, along with Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Alexandria, and the Northern Virginia Association of Volunteer Administrators are pleased to present Management 2011: Advanced Volunteer Management Training with Rick Lynch on Thursday July, 22, 2010 in Arlington, VA. Visit the website for more details.

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